Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures Shine

Raphael. Image: Nickelodeon

I was slightly too old to be the proper demographic for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television show back in the late 1980s. It came out when I was fourteen. So I missed it the first time around. Others were more fortunate, though, and I’m learning more about the Turtles as time goes on.

Several months ago, Nickelodeon started a new TMNT series, and has put out a series of toys and action figures to go with it. Since I’m dating someone younger than I am who was fortunate enough to get into the original series when it originally aired, I got a little (read: a lot of) help from him reviewing the toys. Thanks, Rory!

In short, the action figures are very well done, are of high quality, and are worth your money. But here’s a much more thorough look.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy line based on the new Nickelodeon show are all extremely well articulated. Each one is well equipped with many accessories. Even the tiny accessories are detailed and the figures can get a decent grip on them. There is very little wasted plastic. There are definitely more accessories than necessary, but that just adds to the versitility of play. The vast majority of the figures (with one exception) stand independently very well. And the toys are very archtypical, fitting into the theme or mood of that character.

Everything is packaged in ways that make sense, with stretchy plastic ties holding the pieces in place, instead of the infernal zip tie types. The toys are made by Playmates toys, and are for kids ages four and up.

Though there are a few other toys in the line, these are the ones I was sent for review.

The Turtles

Michelangelo: He has a matte finish with a good paint job. The plastic is flexible, and the figure has good storage for the interesting weapons that come along with it. The weapons come in the car model plastic mold type thing, where you have to twist the pieces off. The weapons didn’t come off too easily, so parental involvement here is a good idea. The very small throwing stars have a specific hole for the figure to grip them in his fingers, the chain scythe can be gripped with both hands at the same time, and he has a back belt that is flexible and holds the nunchucks securely.

Leonardo: He comes with detailed swords that were well packaged to protect the tips, and are very flexible. He has a back belt that holds a shoulder strap that holds his swords, which snap in place. The coloration on his hand and foot wraps is different from the others; detail is obviously paid to each individual Turtle’s coloring. He has a third, extra sword in case one of the others gets lost. He has two more blades that are alternate sizes, one larger and one smaller than the usual swords. This is before the Kris’, of which he has three, along with two additional throwing stars.

Raphael: This Turtle is easily the most detailed character. He has a distinct expression on his face, though all have an angry look. He even has the crack in his shell that’s his signature thing. Raphael has fewer weapons than the others, but they are decidedly detailed. You should probably cut out the weapons, though, or else they’ll fatigue and discolor.

Donatello: He has the most detailed weapons. He has a three part nunchuck, a pair of throwing stars that are more detailed than any other weapon, his traditional staff, and then a staff sword. Has a more mild expression than the others, and is the only one not showing teeth. His staff weapon is extremely durable. He’s better packaged then any of the other Turtles, and none of them are packed poorly.

All of the Turtles have flexible belts, but I don’t think they are meant to be removed. They might break or stretch out.

Get the GeekDad Books!

   

Dogpound. Image: Nickelodeon

The Villains

Dogpound: This figure is well thought out and packed extremely well. Because he’s such a large figure, he was packed in pieces to be able to be in the same sized package as the other figures. He also has an awesome paint job.

Metalhead: The paint on this figure is a little off, and it doesn’t quite line up right on the pieces. There is a separate laser piece which is easy to lose and doesn’t stay in his hand very well. Also, the laser doesn’t launch. He is fairly articulated but less so than the other toys. But over all, despite all this, he’s pretty genius.

Fishface: He has a ridiculously awesome weapon, along with a very tiny weapon. He is the least articulate of all the characters, and is fairly unimpressive, but as Rory says, “C’mon, it’s Fishface.”

Shredder: This figure “includes battle armor” but the battle armor is not detachable. He has a puny, less awesome version of Leonardo’s sword, but also has substantial ninja stars. His paint job is very well done. There is especially a lot of detail in the armor. He’s a good stand-alone toy with the same articulation as the Turtles. He even stands better than some of the Turtles do, even though he has smaller feet.

Foot Soldier. Image: Nickelodeon

Foot Soldier: He has two swords, each with its own sheath. The sheaths are connected to each other and can then plug into the back of the foot soldier, if desired. He’s easily the best of the bad guys, and probably worth investing in more than one. He has the same level of articulation as the Turtles, but doesn’t stand as well as the other toys. “The foot soldier is an awesome villain toy,” says Rory. “Kudos to Playmates for the design of the Foot Soldier weapon carrying setup.”

The Kraang: This figure has hardly any articulation and can only stand in one way. Has the most substantial and sturdy weapons of any character, though, and are also very detailed and the best weapons of the bad guys. Not on the same level of the Turtles, but decent. Still, overall the toy is disappointing. It is unbalanced with weapons in hand, to the point where it can’t stand up. Also, the brain portion of Kraang is so rubbery that it might not wear as well as the rest of the toy.

Being the expert, I’m deferring to Rory on the overall review. The Foot Soldier is his favorite out of all of the figures, including the Turtles. It has great attention to detail, including a perfectly painted headband. It compensates for the fact that the other villains are frail and not versatile, and have worse weapons than the Turtles in general.

Michelangelo Ninja Combat Gear. Image: Nickelodeon

Additional Toys in the Line

“Oh yeah, dude.” – Rory, when opening the Michelangelo Ninja Combat Gear.

We were also able to review the Michelangelo Ninja Combat Gear. The advertised sound effects in the nunchucks means a twisting ratcheting sound. This means that there isn’t a meaningful sound, but it also means no batteries and no annoying electronic sound. The gear also includes Frisbee-like throwing stars and an orange mask that fits kids best but can go on an adult if needed. Overall, this toy is slightly underwhelming after the other toys, but allows kids to get in on the action, playing their favorite Turtle. They offer toy sets for each of the Turtles, in addition to other toys in the line.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures and other toys vary in price, and are a great gift for your favorite Turtles fan, or for yourself. I highly recommend them due to their quality and attention to detail. Who is your favorite Turtle?

Note: I received TMNT toys for the purposes of this review.

Jenny Bristol is an Editor at GeekDad and a founding Director at GeekMom. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, losing herself in history, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.